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20 May 2015

Azerbaijan officials study RIA techniques

On 18-19 May, 17 officials from mainly economic ministries and one from Parliament participated in a capacity building workshop for the development of regulatory impact assement (RIA) in Azerbaijan ministries. 
The main purpose of the workshop (which was moderated by your blogger CH Montin) was to take stock of existing RIA in Azerbaijan and to lay the ground for making better use of this aid to government decision making. Over the two day programme, course members were able to pratice the skills required at crucial stages of RIA process, such as defining the problem/issue and the options, assessing the impacts, presenting the integrated analysis of the preferred option. It was made clear that both the evidence base and the consultation process needed to be significantly improved if the full potential of RIA was to be achieved in Azerbaijan. Existing RIA-type scrutinies would need severe upgrading to meet international RIA standards. Special attention was given to the European Commission RIA scheme which in many ways is the most advanced model.
Some practical steps were presented to participants to jump-start a national RIA scheme:
- Issuing a high-level explicit Government statement on the importance of good quality RIA documents to be prepared for the most economically significant new legislations, and emphasizing the importance of effective consultation with stakeholders on draft legislation;
- defining a Azerbaijan RIA methodology after discussion based on international best practice, in particular as reported by OECD publications;
- building capacities in the ministries by freeing officials from other tasks to start practicing RIA on the basis if possible of current or past legislations;
- setting up an oversight body in charge of verifying the quality of RIAs before the corresponding draft legislation is finalised.
 (photo above post: the moderator with some of the course members.)

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